This is according to the Express, who cite reports in Russia as claiming that the two Premier League clubs - along with Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona and Inter Milan - are interested in signing the 24-year-old Brazil international.
CSKA prepared to sell to ease financial concerns
The report adds that CSKA are prepared to sell the defender, who joined the Russian Premier League side from Gremio in 2012, in order to alleviate their financial concerns. But they are not prepared to sell for anything less than their £20 million asking price.
CSKA sporting director Oleg Yarovinsky recently told reporters: "CSKA is always ready to consider interesting proposals, but at the moment the enquiries from top European clubs about Fernandes do not appeal."
Fernandes is a classy defender
Whether Manchester United or Arsenal are prepared to meet CSKA’s asking price remains to be seen, but Fernandes is a player of considerable class. Although a right-back by trade, the South American can also play at centre-back, and this versatility makes him an attractive option for potential buyers.
Fernandes’ impressive club form has not gone unnoticed by Brazil coach Dunga, who handed the defender his first international cap against Japan last week. Replacing right-back Danilo at half-time, the 6ft 2in full-back helped the Seleção keep their clean sheet in tact, as Brazil ran out 4-0 winners in Singapore.
Who needs him most?
Fernandes was most recently in action on Tuesday evening against Premier League champions Manchester City in the Champions League - and, while no fans were allowed inside the Arena Khimki, it’s likely that scouts from top European clubs were running the rule over the Brazilian.
Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal is in the market for new defenders. The Dutchman is not convinced by Phil Jones, Chris Smalling or Jonny Evans, while there is speculation that he also has doubts over the club’s current first-choice right-back, Rafael.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, is also short on defensive options and may consider Fernandes as a potential option depending on how long it takes Mathieu Debuchy to return from injury, combined with the club’s defensive record between now and January.